Quote Ethics: Rep. Miller’s Hitler Quote

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I’d call this an ethics train wreck if it wasn’t so stupid.

During a rally for the conservative Moms for America, Mary Miller, a freshman Illinois Republican member of the House, said conservatives would lose unless “we win the hearts and minds of our children. This is the battle. Hitler was right on one thing. He said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future.’”

Responding with classic “gotcha!” verve, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said in an interview about Miller, “She’s been on this earth long enough to know that invoking the beliefs of Hitler as being right in any respect is inappropriate and wrong. It’s wrong enough that she should not be in Congress.”

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) piled on, saying that Miller should resign and be replaced with “someone who better understands the sacrifices our brave service members made during World War II.” Illinois’ Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Miller’s comment at the rally “disgusting.” Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger called the Hitler comments “garbage.” Echoing, I’m sure, many shameless progressive pundits, Boston Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham described Miller in a column as “the first-term representative from Illinois who had quoted Hitler approvingly at a “Save the Republic” rally the day before.

Naturally, Rep. Miller had to grovel a clumsy apology:

Miller apology

What’s going on here? Stupidity, grandstanding, dishonesty, virtue signaling, oh, lots of things.

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Comment Of The Day: “Why Don’t College Students Believe In Free Speech? Because They Are Taught By Totalitarianism Advocates…”

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Commenter Crella’s brief observation, which I just now read, is notable for many reasons. First, it was news to me. I spend a ridiculous amount of time (during much of which, my wife and business partner reminds me, I should be making money, writing one of the books on the drawing board, creating a new ethics seminar, writing legal ethics parody song lyrics, etc) tracking ethics developments, and I still miss so much. Second, it’s an example of so many themes here: the totalitarian tilt of the Left, the criminalization of politics, the beyond insane partisan divide, the Great Stupid. Third, the story is a collision of so many ethics train wrecks, its hard to sort the carnage out. I’ll be back at the end, but here’s Crella’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Why Don’t College Students Believe In Free Speech? Because They Are Taught By Totalitarianism Advocates Like Duke Professors Bill Adair and Philip Napoli. That’s Why”:

Robert Reich (just typing his name makes my blood boil) has a new video out, calling for prosecution of Trump supporters for infecting Congressmen. ‘They should be charged with involuntarily manslaughter if any of the Congressmen they infected dies! Two more tested positive as I taped this’

Greeeeeat idea! Prosecuting people because you think they might have given you a disease. The liberals on my Facebook page are lapping it up: “ I agree they should be prosecuted!”. So much for having any standard of proof. If they can prove unequivocally that any of the congressmen and women who get corona now and have tested positive this week didn’t have Christmas parties didn’t have New Year’s parties never left their homes didn’t have big gatherings, didn’t travel, then I might think it possible they were infected by the people who stormed into the capital. Otherwise, seriously!?

I’m back.

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Why Don’t College Students Believe In Free Speech? Because They Are Taught By Totalitarianism Advocates Like Duke Professors Bill Adair and Philip Napoli. That’s Why.

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In an advocacy piece in The Hill this week, the professors, who teach public policy instructors insist that the breaching of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters shows that the government must decide what statements and opinions are legally permissible. They wrote in part,

“Last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol was based on lies…The mob that stormed the building was acting on a tidal wave of misinformation about the election that was spread by the president, his fellow Republicans and their supporters using a web of partisan media outlets, social media and the dark corners of the internet.The lies flourished despite an extraordinary amount of debunking by fact-checkers and Washington journalists. But that fact-checking didn’t persuade the mob that stormed the Capitol — nor did it dissuade millions of other supporters of the president. Fed a steady diet of repetitive falsehoods by elected officials and partisan outlets, they believed the lies so much that they were driven to violence.”

“In his first week in office, President-elect Biden should announce a bipartisan commission to investigate the problem of misinformation and make recommendations about how to address it.The commission should take a broad approach and consider all possible solutions: incentives, voluntary industry reforms, education, regulations and new laws.”

Observations:

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Sunset Ethics, 1/13/21: Accusations Amuck! [Revised]

Cape Charles Sunset

Yup, it’s true: the “You Have No Enemies” By Charles Mackay post, which consisted of virtually no content from me at all, but was mostly an obscure poem by an even more obscure 19th century English poet, was the most-accessed post of the past 365 days. Not only that, it lapped the field, since it wasn’t offered until November 16. That’s right: more people wanted to read that poem in less than two months any of the over 12,000 posts on ethics that were available all year.

What are you trying to tell me?

1. About that spite impeachment, or “snap” impeachment (Jonathan Turley’s term): It’s not going to get to trial in the Senate, meaning that it’s a) pointless b) a waste of time c) a personal, childish, “Nyah, nayah! We hate you!” taunt as Donald Trump does out the door, and d) one more way for the Democrats, plus Joe Biden, to ensure that half the country detests the other. Good plan!

A spokesman for the Senate Leader Mitch McConnell informed Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that McConnell would not reconvene the Senate before the 19th, the day before Biden’s inauguration.That means a trial and conviction, assuming Democrats disgrace themselves and vote for a phony impeachment resolution that is even less legally and constitutionally valid than the first one, can’t possibly get underway until Trump is no longer President, and that means he can’t be impeached. Yes, yes, some Trump Deranged lawyers argue otherwise, just as they argued that Trump should be impeached before he took office.

Earlier this week, Fox News and other news organizations ran with anonymous sources who quoted McConnell as saying he thought impeaching Trump would be a good thing. McConnell is a despicable weasel, as bad if not worse than Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi, so this was plausible but not news, as indeed no “un-named sources familiar with the situation say X is thinking Y and said Z” report is news under journalism ethics standards. These are called “rumors” and “gossip.” In the Trump years, however, such speculation and hearsay has been treated as news, at least when it reflected poorly on Republicans or advanced a Democratic big lie or narrative.

2. Spittin’ mad former and self-banned EA commenter Jeff Field continues to drop hate mail in my mailbox (three more pieces since yesterday), though now it goes straight to spam. In the last such poison pen missive that I read, he accused yet another commenter—a sane one— of a falsehood for writing that Ethics Alarms never agreed that the 2020 election was rigged. Who knows what poor Fattymoon was really told, but I have been clear and consistent. The mainstream media attempted to “rig” the election for four years, always reporting the words, actions and character of President Trump negatively, attacking him for what it praised in previous Presidents, virtually never giving him credit for his successes, refusing to do critical analysis of his political foes’ charges, elevating non stories to week-long “scandals,” burying actual stories that might undermine the AUC agenda.

This is beyond dispute; I documented the process thoroughly, as it was the greatest professional ethics breach in modern U.S. history, and I still didn’t cover its full extent. Coverage of the Trump presidency was warped to ensure that he would be unsuccessful, that the public would distrust him, and that he would not be re-elected. In the post about this, I used the term “steal,” not the President’s term “rig.” In a subsequent post focusing on the embargoed Hunter Biden story, I used “rig” with quotation marks, because it’s not my term, and it has been used misleadingly by the President. However that was a direct deception of the American people right before the election with the intent of affecting the election. The word isn’t that far removed from what happened.

I have never said that the election was stolen or rigged by voter fraud, as Trump and many conservative sources claim it was. Nobody should make that assertion at this point, especially President Trump. I have agreed that the use of mail-in ballots ensured that there would be some voter fraud, and that there is much circumstantial evidence to indicate that vote totals were manipulated in various ways to help Biden. Some of that circumstantial evidence is the refusal of Democratic officials to want to investigate the matter.

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Prelude To “The Pandemic Creates A Classic And Difficult Ethics Conflict, But The Resolution Is Clear,” Part III… Ethics Quote Of The Century: President Donald J. Trump

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“Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.”

—–President Donald J. Trump, writing on Twitter in October, after he tested positive

When everybody is attacking and insulting the President now, especially those who didn’t have the guts to do so when he wasn’t a lame duck and they were still afraid of him, this seems like a propitious time to give him due credit for an important and perceptive statement that perfectly expresses the message of the final installment of an Ethics Alarms series that began way back in May.

The sentiment the President succinctly and eloquently expressed was quintessentially American, as well as identical to what other leaders have been lauded for in the past. President Trump, in contrast, was attacked and condemned for expressing this simple truth. He “downplayed the deadly threat of the virus” said the Times. “He isn’t taking the pandemic seriously!” erupted Vogue. After all, the virus “ruined” Amanda Kloot’s life! How dare he not tell as all to be terrified, and to make all of our plans and calibrate our decisions and goals based on the assumption that doom was nigh.

Funny, I don’t recall historians condemning FDR for “downplaying” the threat of the Great Depression when he said,

I don’t recall the British accusing Winston Churchill of downplaying the threat posed by Nazi Germany while hundreds of thousands of British troops were nearly trapped an Dunkirk, and he announced to Parliament, “We will never surrender!”:

This is because the news media, tunnel-visioned health experts, and elected officials who want to make Americans dependent of the government psychologically and factually, want the nation to be fearful. They want us to surrender to the pandemic. They want us to allow it to control out lives. And for most of this year, it has.

President Trump is among the Americans I would view most unlikely to utter an ethical statement, much less a great one, but this was a great statement, essential, inspirational, and right.

I assume this is sufficient notice of what the conclusion of Part III will be.

[If you review the linked post, note that every one of the ten stipulation I laid out in May are still accurate.]

Does Anyone Understand How Twitter Could Post This?

Twitter Tweet

Twitter has been on a banning binge, including the President of the United States, and it chooses now to grandstand about open internet principles?Forget hypocrisy; this is closer to satire. What’s going on here?

Some theories:

  • Twitter Public Policy missed a crucial memo.
  • Some rogue intern is trying to make Twitter look ridiculous.
  • Twitter is gaslighting us.
  • The company is incompetent.
  • The company thought it would be funny to post a misleading tweet that would, under its own policy would mandate suspending Twitter’s account.
  • It literally believes that Donald Trump is an exception to all standards and principles.
  • Emulating the President it just helped elect, it has concluded that the American public only pays attention to what you say, not what you do.

Anything else?

Ethics Quiz: The Fake Inspirational Story

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Ethics Alarms touched on this area here, when I related the example of a defense lawyer who won over the jury in the sensational Richard Scrushy fraud case with a vivid but made-up anecdote:

My favorite ethics moment is when Scrushy’s main trial lawyer, Jim Parkman, is asked about his headline-making anecdote in his opening statement, in which he quoted his grandmother as always telling him”every pancake, no matter how thin, has two sides.” “Did your grandmother really say that?” Parkman’s asked on camera. “No,” he admits after a long pause. “But she could have!”

Lying to a jury would seem to be a serious ethical violation for a lawyer, and by the wording of the rules, it should be. But every lawyer I’ve discussed Parkman’s tactic with agrees that such non-substantive lies would never result in professional discipline. (I think they should be.)

But what about inspirational stories and anecdotes that aren’t true? Does the end justify the means? Brian Childers’ story about Tommy Lasorda reminded me of another Lasorda story. Managing in the minors before becoming the third-longest tenured manager with a single team in baseball history, the ever-ebullient leader of the Spokane AAA team was faced with a dispirited squad that has lost nine straight games. Tommy bucked them up by reminding the players that the 1927 Yankees of “Murderer’s Row” fame, then and now the consensus choice as the greatest baseball team of all-time, also lost nine games straight. His team was cheered, and not only broke out of their slump, but went on a winning streak.

Asked later if it was true that the team of the Babe, the “Iron Horse” and the rest ever lost nine in a row, Lasorda answered, “Hell, I don’t know. But it turned my team around when they thought so!!”

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Morning Ethics Warm-Up That I Forgot To Post Until Now, 1/12/2021, And I Am Abashed…

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1. More for the “Scared Yet?” Files; Many thanks to Michael R, in his comment on this post, for reminding me about the scary decision of the National Association of Realtors, one of the nation’s largest trade organization, to start trying to control members speech in and away from the workplace. This should be a stand-alone post, but I’m behind, so I’ll cover this revolting development now.

The NAR revised its professional ethics code to ban “hate speech and harassing speech” by its 1.4 million members. The new rules will allow investigations, fines or expulsion of real estate agents who insult, threaten or harass” people based on race, sex, or other legally protected characteristics. Of course, what is harassment or haye speech is in the eye of thebeholder, and all such rules potentially chill speech and expression by creating fear at the source. According to the group’s online training sessions, the sweeping prohibition applies to association members every minute of the day, covering all communication, private and professional, written and spoken, online and off. A maximum fine could be as high as $15,000.

Mary Wagner, a white, lesbian real estate agent, says the rule fits her vision for creating a fairer society, and she predicts predicts thousands of complaints this year. You know: fair. Want to wreck a competitor? Report a politically-incorrect joke someone claims the competitor made to a neighbor while walking his dog. Mary says she’s thrilled about the move….. because she’s a left-wing fascist. Res ipsa loquitur.

You can quote me on that.

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China. The Emergent Competitor

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Guest post by Michael West.

[I realized…I’m a little slow sometimes…that it was silly to call outstanding posts on Ethics Alarms Open Forums “comments” when they are, in fact, stand alone essays. With this example by Michael West, Ethics Alarms will, when appropriate, designate such commentary as guest posts. That will not mean that my answer to all of the people who tell me they love Ethics Alarms and want to contribute with product promotions or articles on haberdashery, insect larvae or cosmetics will be changing. It’s still NO. JM]

This will be a tough nut to crack. We’re heavily “interdependent” with them economically (but we don’t have to be). We’re becoming direct competitors in the eastern Pacific.

From an “all nations are equal” point of view America has the distinct positional advantage. We have allies ringing the Chinese periphery on one side. As frontiers are described, nations prefer a “peripheral zone” around their “cultural core” before the nation even reaches the “fringe” or the “frontier”.

For the vast majority of American history, the core was the “Boston-Washington corridor”, with the periphery being the “North” +West Coast and the “fringe” being “the South and the West Coast” and the frontier being “the Southwest” and Alaska + Hawaii, with outposts in the wide ranging Pacific. America has been “comfortable”.

China…with landmasses in it’s ideal “peripheral zone” being oriented towards the United States: Japan and Taiwan, and several being neutral but more inclined to the USA, such as Vietnam….and with landmasses in it’s “fringe and frontier”, such as Indonesia and Singapore, being oriented towards the United States, has never enjoyed the “comfort” that the USA has felt.

But that’s okay…because all things are not “being equal”. I don’t care that a Communist country that inflicts as much pain on it’s landed periphery and fringe- Tibet and Western China- that it would love to inflict on its Pacific periphery. They are the Bad Guys.

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For The “Scared Yet?” Files: Glenn Greenwald On Parler’s Take-Down

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Greenwald, who lost his own organization for insisting on fair reporting on the Hunter Biden scandal deliberately hidden from the public by the partisan media, has delivered an excellent account of what was done to Parler. This is why Ethics Alarms subscribes to his new platform, substack. He is one of that nearly extinct species, a journalist who reports the facts, wherever they may lead.

Of the attack on Parler, the surging alternative to Twitter, Greenwald writes in part,

If one were looking for evidence to demonstrate that these tech behemoths are, in fact, monopolies that engage in anti-competitive behavior in violation of antitrust laws, and will obliterate any attempt to compete with them in the marketplace, it would be difficult to imagine anything more compelling than how they just used their unconstrained power to utterly destroy a rising competitor…In October, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law issued a 425-page report concluding that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google all possess monopoly power and are using that power anti-competitively. For Apple, they emphasized the company’s control over iPhones through its control of access to the App Store….Parler learned that Google, without warning, had also “suspended” it from its Play Store, severely limiting the ability of users to download Parler onto Android phones. Google’s actions also meant that those using Parler on their Android phones would no longer receive necessary functionality and security updates….

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